I recently found something I had lost. Or rather, I found someone I had lost. He was a dear friend from my childhood. We spent days and nights roaming the woods near our homes, catching crawdads and minnows in the creek and turning rocks over to look for banded water snakes. We shot bows and arrows and rode bikes. Standard Appalachian stuff, that. In the winter, we would sled until we ...

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shutterstock_48561808 The medical world has made terrific scientific and technological progress over the last century. Previously incurable diseases can now be treated as day cases, and patients no longer have to accept a paternalistic, one-sided relationship with their doctors. Hospitals too, have a come a long way if you look at pictures of what they used to look like in those old ...

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physician pain scale This cartoon is based on data from the 2015 Medscape Physician Compensation Report. Dermatology is on one end, internal medicine on the other.   The other specialties in between.  Doesn't seem to be a trend between the cognitive and procedural specialities, which is a bit surprising.  You'd think the latter would skew towards the "happiness" side. Do you ...

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051809+Maureen+Dowd+p1 If I’m to take fashion advice from Maureen Dowd’s March 3 column, “Stroke of Fate,” a take-down of emergency medicine disguised as a recovery narrative of her niece, then I should exchange my white coat for grease-stained overalls. In her column, a Harvard neurology professor who specializes in stroke describes the brain as the Rolls-Royce of the human body. When it ...

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shutterstock_211897159 1. Due to intermittent monitoring versus continuous fetal monitoring which is standard in the hospital, the patient has increased mobility and a wider range of laboring positions/options: sitting, standing, walking, water, birthing balls. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has agreed that there is not a medical benefit to continuous fetal monitoring compared to intermittent monitoring in low-risk women. 2. ...

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The room hung silent when he was done speaking. It was Monday afternoon and I had just barely woken up from sleeping off my overnight shift in the ICU. A few days prior the poet laureate of Rhode Island, Rick Benjamin, asked me to join a poetry seminar he hosts weekly at a local assisted living community. Despite the ache as I lay my head down that morning, I set ...

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shutterstock_178086407 He sat there holding his wife’s hands and hugging her as tightly as he possibly could.  Tears were streaming down her face, and she was vulnerable to the diagnosis I had just bestowed upon her. Cancer, the “C” letter word nobody wanted to hear, suddenly invaded the lives of this newly married couple. Multiple thoughts were running through my mind before bestowing ...

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Often I hear comments from people who have been treated for cancer and other illnesses talking about the things they wish they knew, or things they wish their doctors would have shared with them about their treatments or conditions. I don’t have to remind anyone there is a tremendous amount of anxiety and fear when you are diagnosed with cancer or any other perceived or potentially life-threatening illness. Our health care system has ...

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shutterstock_212693173 I work in a place where nobody calls me by my name. They all address me by a moniker of their choosing that I have asked them not to use.  I have asked them to use my name.  Aside from a few who respect my wish, most of my co-workers just call me by the impersonal-sounding phrase they’ve selected instead.  It creates ...

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shutterstock_176089838 Recent events in Baltimore sparked by the tragic death of Freddie Gray in police custody have thrust our city into the national and international spotlight. As others have observed, the anger, violence and grief that erupted in Baltimore following Gray’s death have roots that run much deeper -- and much wider -- than the highly publicized clashes between law enforcement and minority ...

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